EVEN though EVEN or Odd EVEN = equal EVEN = flat and smooth
There are many valid uses of the root word EVEN. But EVEN (like its pal JUST) has a way of sneaking into sentences a wee bit too often.
Typically, the intention behind adding EVEN is to impart emphasis.
Below, I'll share 3 sentences and provide guidance about when it's appropriate to let EVEN stay and when you should ask EVEN to leave. In each example, imagine the characters are a 16-year-old boy and his father.
"I moved the lawn and even cleaned out the garage! Please let me go to the beach with my friends! "
STAY? If the father has repeatedly been asking his son to clean out the garage, or is bothered by the state of the garage, then yes, emphasis is warranted.
LEAVE? If this is the first time this point is mentioned, hit delete. "I mowed the lawn and cleaned out the garage! " is more direct and appropriate in this case.
"I don't even get off work until 10:30PM. I'll be too tired to take out the trash when I get home."
STAY? If this is the last point the boy is making to strengthen his case, then let EVEN stay.
LEAVE? If this is the only point the boy is making, EVEN isn't necessary. Try instead, "I don't get off work until 10:30. I'll be too tired to take out the trash when I get home."
"The score was tied at 3-3 even, and I scored two of the runs!"
STAY? Nope! Tied = EVEN, so this is a case of unnecessary repetition. Scored and score are similar too.
LEAVE? Yes! Try this instead: "We tied at 3-3, and I scored two of the runs!" See how the meaning is unchanged?
I'm enjoying an e-book right now with well-drawn characters, intriguing world building, and a fresh take on a popular Disney story. However, I can't help but notice there's glaring overuse of EVEN. So this is my advice to writers everywhere: before you hit submit, do a JUST-check and an EVEN-check of your work!
Thank you for reading and sharing my latest spoonful. It's good to be back! If you wish to comment on this or any post, click on the word "Comments" directly below.
Laura F Cooper
For many months, I've wrestled with whether or not to resume A Spoonful of Grammar. But I woke up this morning and decided to JUST DO IT! I hope my faithful readers have been saving up lots of grammar and punctuation questions for me!!
It's A-OK when we tell ourselves to JUST DO IT (cue up the Nike ad for inspiration). But telling others is akin to saying, "My patience is wearing thin. Do it before I blow my top!" If you want to instigate verbal sparring between real people or fictional characters, go ahead and use this phrase.
Now let's discuss just plain JUST.
JUST has a way of sneaking into written and oral sentences. "Just remember to sign your name" is an example where JUST can easily be removed without changing the sentence's meaning. Isn't "Remember to sign your name" more direct?
When is JUST appropriate to use? When something was recently completed or a person or character wants to say they'll be ready soon. Here are two examples:
I just finished waxing the floor. Don't step on it yet!
Just a minute! I'll be downstairs in two shakes of a lamb's tail. (Believe it or not, my mom occasionally used that expression!)
Now for two examples where JUST could easily be dropped:
Do you just want to mull it over before making a final decision?
Will you just quiet down?
Here's my advice to writers everywhere: do a JUST check of your writing, whether it's a story, a paper for school, a speech, or a business presentation. Don't be afraid to give JUST a swift kick if it sneaks in where it doesn't belong.
I hope you enjoyed this spoonful! If you know anyone who would enjoy this or any of my earlier spoonfuls, please feel free to share!
Laura F. Cooper
As I watched the changing precipitation yesterday, the homophone trio REIGN/RAIN/REIN popped into my head. Gather 'round (virtually) while I provide definitions and sentences for each word.
REIGN/REIGNING = To rule or hold sovereignty over a kingdom or sporting event. Synonyms: rule/ruling, incumbent, lead/leading, prevail/prevailing
#1: Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England on February 6, 1952 and still reigns today.
#2: The reigning Super Bowl Champions are the Kansas City Chiefs, whose 2020 win over the San Francisco 49ers marked their first since Super Bowl IV.
RAIN = this type of precipitation falls from the clouds in the form of drops
Rain, rain go away! Come again some other day.
There are four types of raindrops and four types of rain. Check out sciencing.com for more information!
REIN = restrain, bridle, or control, or limit. FREE REIN, which means freedom, is the antonym or opposite.
Tug on the reins gently or the horse will spook.
Rein in your anger, or you'll fall prey to the dark side like Anakin Skywalker was.
The rain has turned to snow, and the latest forecast calls for 6-12 inches in my neck of the woods. Stay warm and safe, everyone!
Laura Fineberg Cooper
A Spoonful of Grammar
At first, NOTHING popped into my mind for this week's spoonful. But then, eureka! I reflected that THING is the least descriptive noun in the English language. I decided to challenge YOU, my readers, to banish THING in any of its forms from the following sentences (and from all your writing). If you dare, please share your creative, descriptive replacement sentences in the comments section!
1.) Eek! It's a THING!
2.) I can't wait to hear about the THING you saw last night.
3.) What a remarkable THING that is.
4.) Please bring SOMETHING, ANYTHING to make this party fun.
5.) Let me describe this animal to you. It's a THING!
6.) John brought chairs, blankets, and THINGS to the beach.
Have oodles of fun with this! My next Spoonful of Grammar will be about SOMETHING else, I promise you.
Laura Fineberg Cooper
A Spoonful of Grammar is thrilled to be back! Since we've been APART for nearly two months, it feels appropriate to review the many meanings of APART in this short, sweet return spoonful.
Definition #1: away from or separated by a distance
Erin feared living too far apart from her family.
Definition #2: at a distance or off to the side
Aaron stood 6-feet apart from the kids who were clustered together.
Definition #3: shattered
An airplane was purposely blown apart in the movie My Spy.
Definition #4: (with from) except
Everyone complied with the rules, apart from Mr. Mills.
Definition #5: (with from) indistinguishable
The Thompson twins were extremely hard to tell apart.
You may be wondering, "Are APART and A PART interchangeable?" The short answer is NO!
A PART is comprised of two words and most commonly refers to part of a whole. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you can use the word PART, you can usually substitute A PART. My parting wish is that you and your families remain happy and safe during this challenging time.
Laura Fineberg Cooper